Folium: You’re Safer In Mexico Than You Are At Home via Lonely Planet

Folium: You're Safer In Mexico Than You Are At Home via Lonely Planet

Folium: You’re Safer In Mexico Than You Are At Home via Lonely Planet

Folium: You’re Safer In Mexico Than You Are At Home via Lonely Planet

The Mexico of today is far from the Mexico of last year, and even further from the Mexico of even a few years ago. I will concede that fact. Furthermore, Mexico’s overall image has taken quite a beating due to relentless media coverage of their worst social issues. However, when you look at the country as a whole, there is a shining light that easily outshines the dark points of Mexico’s current social dilemma.

Safer than Jersey ...

Safer than Jersey …

This is not to say that Mexico doesn’t have problems. They do, and it’s going to take some serious work to overcome these problems. However, it’s time to leave the media headlines behind and take a look at some real numbers to draw a conclusion about your safety while traveling in Mexico.

At least for me, there is something comforting about data and statistics. With raw data there is no commentary, no editorial, no opinion or influence. Most of the time the people telling you to avoid Mexico are the people who have never even been there, and sometimes they’re the people who are too afraid to travel outside their own front door. Educate yourself! Take a look at the data, and draw your own conclusions from the data!

Here are some of the highlights from the Lonely Planet article:

What you don’t get from most reports in the US is statistical evidence that Americans are less likely to face violence on average in Mexico than at home, particularly when you zero in on Mexico’s most popular travel destinations (Lonely Planet).

Mexico, as a whole does NOT have a U.S. State Department Travel Warning. 13 states are fully free from the State Department’s warning, including Baja California Sur, Yucatan, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guanajuato and others (Lonely Planet)

So yes, you can go to Mexico, just as you can go to Texas, or New Orleans, or Orlando, or the Bahamas. It’s simply up to you to decide whether you want to (Lonely Planet)

No drug lords here ...

No drug lords here …

Would you try and cross Detroit on foot after midnight? Would you provoke gang members in East L.A. while on vacation? For the vast majority of tourists visiting Mexico’s great archeological treasures, you’re safer on vacation than you would be in your own town! Are there pickpockets, liars, and cheats in Mexico? Sure! But have you ever been to New York City, Chicago, or Los Angeles? The idea that you would intentionally avoid visiting Mexico because of violence in a few isolated locations is like canceling a trip to New York because of gang violence in Los Angeles. Or skipping out on Glacier National Park in Montana because of a petty crime increase in Washington D.C. The more informed you become about the situation in Mexico, the more confidence you can have in knowing that you have too much to lose by giving in to paranoia.

Here is the U.S. State Department’s advisory in their own words:

Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day.  The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality.  Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes (travel.state.gov).

A little bit of knowledge about personal safety while you’re traveling can go a long way, at home or abroad. And as long as you keep your wits about you, there is no better time to scale the pyramids of Teotihuacan or walk along the beaches of Cancun.

A life lived in fear is no life at all. Don’t let media sensationalism keep you from experiencing the greatest wonders of the world!

As an added bonus, I’m adding LEAF’s photo gallery featuring our study abroad students in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Come see for yourself!

Have you ever been to Mexico? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

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